NHL Game of the Week: Avalanche vs. Bruins
Will a natural disaster be enough to take down a roaring bear?
Colorado is headed to Boston on Saturday to battle on the ice against the Bruins. The Avalanche are looking for a big win as they are currently sitting third in the Central Division with a record of 12-7, while their competitor is first in the Atlantic Division with a record of 19-3 on the season.
About a month and a half into the NHL regular season, the quarter season mark has been reached and it is no surprise that both the Bruins and Avalanche are top teams.
It will be a battle of the best as the Boston Bruins have the best record around the league and are undefeated at home, while the Colorado Avalanche are the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
The Avalanche are coming off a stellar November where they went 8-3-0. However, they are facing some concerns going into Saturday’s game as much of their key players are injured. This includes left wing Gabriel Landeskog and forward Valeri Nichushkin.
Luckily for Colorado, many of their players should be coming back to the ice soon. Bo Byram, Darren Helm, and Evan Rodriguez should all be returning in the upcoming few weeks. Although that is good news for the team, they are going to have to figure out something for their matchup against the Bruins.
Some possible call-ups include Ben Tardif, Cal Burke, Charles Hudon, or Brad Hunt. Hunt is most probable due to his experience in the NHL already for the Vancouver Canucks last season. He played fifty matches with three goals, sixty-seven shots, and forty-eight blocks.
Their competitor is a tough one. The Bruins have scored the second-most goals this season, with twenty different scorers, and allowed the fewest goals. The team also leads the NHL at an average 3.95 goals per game.
This is an incredible start, especially when noted that they began the season without left-wing Brad Marchand and defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk who all had offseason surgeries.
Part of the Bruins’ success can be attributed to Head Coach Jim Montgomery’s more aggressive approach, especially when it comes to offense. Additionally, goalkeeper Linus Ullmark has had an incredible season, leading the NHL in goals against average, save percentage, and wins.
While some may be worried that Boston is peaking too early in the season, Montgomery isn’t concerned and believes that the team will stay hot throughout the whole season. They are currently the number one favorite to win the Stanley Cup. But in order to keep their historic start alive, they will need to steal a win from the Avalanche.
However, the Bruins are dealing with injuries of their own with Trent Frederic, Derek Forbort, and Ullman all names of concern. Luckily for Boston, Forbort should return for the Avalanche match and Ullman has not been listed on the injured reserve.
Not only will the Bruins face off against Colorado on Saturday, but again on Wednesday, Dec. 7. Whoever loses in their first matchup will be coming with vengeance for revenge in the second match.
Allie Wenskoski is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, please email email@example.com.